National Strategy for Community Justice - review: consultation

This consultation seeks views as part of the review of the National Strategy for Community Justice.

5. Strategic context and key interdependencies

There have been a number of significant developments since the current strategy was published in 2016, not least the impact of the coronavirus pandemic over the last 18 months. As we emerge from the pandemic, it is right that we should look at how to renew our public services and build on the lessons we have learnt – both the progress made and opportunities to build greater resilience into our critical services.

The strategy will also operate within the wider context of the National Performance Framework (NPF) and will be reflected in the development of a new justice strategy. It is specifically mentioned in the Programme for Government 2021-22, which includes a commitment that we will develop and launch a new National Community Justice Strategy next spring, setting out clear aims with an emphasis on early intervention and encouraging a further shift away from the use of custody.

The strategy will be aligned with the NPF. The NPF is used by the Scottish Government to focus activities and spending to help meet national outcomes. To achieve the national outcomes, the NPF aims to get everyone in Scotland to work together. The NPF, last refreshed in 2018, includes the following national outcome which is of particular relevance to the strategy: “We live in communities that are inclusive, empowered, resilient and safe.”

Work is also underway to develop a new overarching justice strategy which will be both ambitious and realistic. We are currently focussed on identifying the high level ambitions, and subsequently a routemap for delivery will be developed. This will reflect all those who play a crucial role in ensuring that progress is made in securing a faster, fairer, more effective system.

Operating alongside the strategy, we will also take account of:

  • OPIF - Community Justice Scotland is currently developing proposals for Scottish Ministers for the revision of the OPIF, which will likely be considered alongside the new strategy for publication in Spring 2022. Given the interdependencies between the strategy and the OPIF, the Scottish Government and Community Justice Scotland are working closely together on the respective pieces of work and where they intersect. We anticipate that the collaborative work undertaken by Community Justice Scotland to date on developing proposals for the revision of the OPIF will flow into the new strategy.
  • Recover, Renew, Transform Programme - which was established to ensure a whole system approach to the justice system response to the coronavirus pandemic.
  • National Care Service Consultation – which was published on 9 August 2021, regarding the creation of the National Care Service. Whilst the primary focus of the proposals is on adult social care, the consultation will also seek views on the scope and remit of the National Care Service and whether it should, as well as adult social care, include all social work services. This clearly has implications for justice social work and services for children, young people, and their families and carers.
  • Youth Justice Vision and Action Plan – which represents a shared foundation between the Scottish Government and partners to continue to support the agenda to keep children out of the criminal justice system and promote the use of the Whole System Approach.
  • The Promise – which works with organisations to support shifts in policy, practice and culture so Scotland can #KeepThePromise it made to care experienced infants, children, young people, adults and their families - that every child grows up loved, safe and respected, able to realise their full potential.
  • Other priorities across Government which relate to community justice, such as victims and witnesses policy, violence prevention, employability, housing, mental health, substance related issues and community safety.



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